Saturday, June 17, 2006


Differentiae Verborum

Robert Ogilvie's Horae Latinae. Studies in Synonyms and Syntax (London: Longman, Green, and Co., 1901) is a study of the distinctions between Latin synonyms. It tells you, for example, what the differences are between sperare and optare, iucundus and gratus, carere and egere. The book is the fruit of wide, independent reading of Latin literature, especially the chief prose authors (Caesar, Cicero, Sallust, Livy; to a lesser extent Seneca), and is useful for those interested in keeping alive the vanishing art of Latin prose composition.

It is out of print, of course, and the rare used copy is usually very expensive. It is one of those books I wish would show up in Project Gutenberg. Here is a sample from Horae Latinae, s.vv. drink and drunk:

Bibere, to drink, generally, whether to quench one's thirst, or in reference to customary moderate convivial drinking; potare, to drink to excess, to tipple.

Tus. 5,34 Darius in fuga, cum aquam turbidam bibisset, negavit se umquam bibisse iucundius.
Fin. 2,3 estne, inquam, sitienti in bibendo voluptas?
Verr. 1,26 fit sermo inter eos et invitatio, ut Graeco more biberetur.
Pl. Rud. 361 periit potando (he has drunk himself to death).
Phil. 2,27 totos dies potabatur.
Sall. C. 11 ibi primum insuevit exercitus populi Romani potare.

Potum, or potatum, is used instead of bibitum. He is going
to drink, poturus or potaturus est.


Ebrius, drunk, intoxicated. Ebriosus, addicted to drinking, drunken. A person may be "ebrius," drunk, on a particular occasion, without incurring the imputation of being "ebriosus," a drunkard.

Sen. Ep. 83 plurimum interesse concedes inter ebrium et ebriosum.
Mil. 24 servos Milonis apud se ebrios factos (had got drunk in his house).
Fam. 9,17,1 ex quo vel sobrio vel certe ex ebrio scire posses.
Deiot. 9 Deiotarum saltantem quisquam aut ebrium vidit umquam?
Fat. 5 hunc scribunt ipsius familiares ebriosum fuisse.

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